The Bondi Blade

Posted by Ramon Elzinga on

 The Bondi Blade

I have been lucky enough to have traveled to quite a few different places and live in some of them. Maybe now that I have kids and need more space Adelaide is perfect but in the years of my youth there was nothing better than Bondi (I was there for nearly 10 years). In honour of this location I've been working with my business partner, Shannon, on creating the "Bondi" knife.

The Bondi Knife is the perfect all purpose knife to use in the kitchen or at a BBQ. It will glide through anything like a world class surfer in Bondi.

Below are some details on the handle and blade composition and why we have chosen what we have.

The Bondi Blade

1. Australian Wood in the Handle

We have always used Australian wood in making our handles so when making our Bondi blade we (of course) wanted to do it again - using wood that can be found along the Australian coast line. More than 90% of Australian's live by the coast.

In choosing wood we look for something unique which has a curl and swirl like the oceans incoming water. The easiest, hardest and most unique wood we can find is the roots of a tree eaten by ants.

When crops are pulled wood still has moisture. It also has a variation of toughness throughout the wood. This is quite hard to deal with as the moisture in woods runs through it like a stream. Enter the Ant!

If you leave a piece of wood in a dry area ants will find it. They eat their way through all the softer wood and leave intricate streams of the hardest wood with small holes through. When making a unique knife this is the only way to do it and something we utilize.

2. Ocean Blue Resin Imposed

To fill in holes in the wood, stabilize and strengthen the handle and to make it look pretty we use Epoxy Resin. Epoxy resin is a product also used in many products - like surf boards :) If I said we chose this colour to match the Bondi profile that would be a lie. Whenever I look at this colour it reminds me of my past - beaches of Bondi and Brazil. That's why we like working with the light blue.

3. Steel That Lasts - AUS10

I could say that "AUS10" is Australian "AUS" but that would be a lie. We tried to fine steel here in Oz for this blade but Australian steel producers make steel for big things (cars, buildings, trains, etc) and aren't able to provide high-end steel needed for knives that last forever. So instead of Australian steel we went to the place where my mum and dad met - Japan.

AUS10 is made by a company in Japan known as Aichi. They make a variety of steels however when it comes to knives they make one of the most popular world wide steels that is used for Damascus and high quality kitchen knives.

The steel has 12% chromium to prevent corrosion and carbon above 1% which allows you to create an edge significantly harder than common western knives. There is also a way to split the hardness of the steel described below.

4. Steel Finish - "Ripple or Hamon" Effect

You will see a ripple or wave upon the steel that looks like the rolling of the waves on the beach. This is known as a process known as the "Hamon Effect." After forging steel a blade (making it damn hot - up to and beyond 1000 celcius) a blade is quickly cooled to transform it's hardness and sharpness. If you want to make the edge hard and leave more mobility to the spine of the knife you can use the "Hamon Approach".

(btw - My name is Ramon. When I did an exchange in Brasil they called me "Jamon" where they pronounced the "J" as a "H." I'm now making knives using the "Hamon" process - I'm still trying to understand this procession.)

When conducting the "Hamon Effect" you add clay to the blade before cooling. This means the part under the clay cools slower than the part exposed. The section between the hard and the soft brings out the "Hamon Effect". The line where light meets dark. Much like oceanic waves we as makers have little control of where the Hamon curves will emerge.

The "Hamon effect", which makes ripples between the hard and soft looks like the beach but it also creates a knife with superior hardness on the edge and mobility as it approaches the spine.

5. The K-Tip

Last but not least in shaping the knife we wanted something that honours Australia. We have a highly diverse cuisine and we cut an enormous amounts of fruits vegetables and proteins. We wanted to create something that can do it all. Most (western) knives have less weight in the tip but given what we wanted this knife to be able to do we added what is known as the "K-Tip."

The K-Tip essentially adds weight and height to the tip of the knife meaning the users can do downward slices and chops using the increased gravity.

(Mildly selfish and narcissistic I plan to do yellow and green spacers on the blade. These colours will represent both Australian colours (green and "gold" and Brasil - blue, green and gold. Bondi and Brasil are the greatest beaches I've ever visited and I wanted to represent this in the knife.)

The Bondi Knife

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